Written Assignment PLEASE USE PROPER SOURCES AND CITATIONS Written Assignment: Human EvolutionThis assignment has 3 parts. Answer 1 and 2 and EITHER a or b of question 3. In all of your answers an underlying theme to organize your thoughts should be: how do these fossils contribute to our understanding of what it means to be human? While general consensus exists around the very broad pattern of human evolution, considerable controversy surrounds many of the detailed claims. Be sure you distinguish the two. There are many aspects to consider and angles that you can take in your response. Consider, for example, that science is a human activity. How much do scientists’ bias towards their own fields of study play a role in the acceptance of new data? Does this imply that scientific information is inherently biased and unreliable? Do you think for example that a cultural anthropologist might be less accepting of molecular evidence, if not fully conversant in the facts, concepts, and technology of genetics? Give your opinion about whether the information is biased due to the perspectives of the scientists. Describe BRIEFLY the characteristic of the key fossils that have contributed to our understanding of human evolution, beginning with Australopithecine and ending with anatomically-modern humans. Read Owen Lovejoy’s article summary of “Reexamining Human Origins in Light of Ardipithecus ramidus” http://www.sciencemag.org/content/326/5949/74/suppl/DC1 and discuss how this fossil is causing a rethinking of the ape/human split, and the relationship ofAustralopithecus to early Homo. What is the “Out of Africa Hypothesis”? Contrast it with the multiregional hypothesis. Find an article about new fossil finds that while not disproving the Out of Africa, suggests that the hypothesis as originally proposed might need to be modified. Choose either a or b. The discovery of a species of dwarf human at the Liang Bua cave on the Indonesian island of Flores in 2003 has caused tremendous excitement and controversy in the field of paleoanthropology. Read ‘A Hobbit on the human family tree’ at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3948165.stm. Why is it such an unusual fossil, and in what ways is it causing a rethinking of hominoid evolution? Survey the recent scientific literature about this find, and present an overview of the various theories currently being presented about Homo floresiensis. Read the article ‘Neanderthals’ by Hublin and Paabo (Current Biology 16, R113-14, 2006), and compare what it contains with what you have learned in your text Evolution. Describe and compare the different types of evidence provided through fossil studies, cultural anthropology, radioactive dating, genetics, and forensic information concerning the controversy surrounding the exact relationship between Neanderthals and humans. Discuss whether you feel that all the evidence can be reconciled.

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